Culture, clothing and cuisine: exploring Toulouse

With all the perpetual confusion of French university giving me stress on the daily, this weekend provided me with a much welcome break…what do you mean ‘dramatic’?

So, to get away from the ever-so-difficult life of a student, I spent the weekend exploring more of my wonderful new home with my boyfriend who came to visit me! This, of course, involved some good food, loads of photogenic locations and a just a sprinkling of shopping for good measure. If you’re ever stuck for places to explore on a weekend in Toulouse then look no further for some inspo!

 

Jardins Japonais

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There are a few gardens dotted around Toulouse and this is undoubtedly one of the cutest. Hidden away in Campans Caffarelli, this secluded spot pays a beautiful homage to Japanese architecture, surrounded by vibrant gardens that make you forget which country you’re really in.

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Complete with authentic sculptures and a Zen garden, the Jardins Japonais were the epitome of tranquility. Small but sweet, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny stroll or even to just to escape the city for a little while.

 

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SHOPPING, DINING AND DRINKING IN CAPITOLE

It’s actually been a really long time since I gave myself a healthy dose of retail therapy. Although it’s certainly no Oxford Street, Toulouse does have a good selection of shops including a Zara on what feels like every street corner!

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Shopping on a Saturday proved to be a somewhat silly decision, because as expected, the queues were horrendously long. However I couldn’t resist checking out what the high street had to offer.

I ended up purchasing some gorgeous white cord trousers from Zara and a snake print blouse from Bershka that practically begged me to take it off the shelf.

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Naturally, I showcased my new outfit the next day…

 

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That night we inevitably decided to go for a meal in Capitole. There’s something about living in France that makes it almost impossible not to eat out every night (note to self: euros are NOT Monopoly money).

 

I had a gorgeous salmon tagliatelle and a panna cotta with fruits rouges for dessert. At €15 for two courses, and being right at the heart of Capitole, I’d say this restaurant gave us a pretty good deal (and generous portions which is always important)

 

Musee des augustins

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One of the best things about being a student in Toulouse is that it gets you a discounted, or even free entry into various things such as theatres, museums, cinemas etc. I haven’t yet managed to visit one of the many museums here in Toulouse so I really wanted to see what they were all about. Students from across the globe can enjoy free entry into the Musée des Augustins, so as long as you have a card, you’re in.

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This museum featured loads of cool statues, sculptures and paintings, all set amongst some beautiful architecture. Admittedly I don’t usually spend all that long in museums, but this one was certainly photogenic. Smaller than most, this museum would be perfect for a passing visit as you explore Toulouse.

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Place st pierre

Sunset bridge

This is one of my favourite places in the city. Every evening people from the city flock here to watch the sunset, have a few drinks and see what’s going on in the evening.

With live bands, groups of people dancing and street performers, there is always something to see, and we weren’t disappointed.

The first evening we watched a reggae band performing in a little al fresco bar just by the riverside. The next day we enjoyed standing in the crowd as couples danced in the street to a live swing band. The atmosphere here is always great no matter what the day, I highly recommend you spend some of your evening here when in Toulouse!

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I’m sure that I still have many things left to explore here in the city, but I am slowly ticking them off my list! If anyone else has ever visited or lived here, then feel free to pass on any suggestions!